“It is essential to recognise that every vintage is different. Respect for this difference, ongoing observation in the vineyard and the cellar, and understanding the terroir result in the best possible wine year after year. In a manner of speaking, winemaking as such takes a back seat … Its sole mission is to reflect the terroir’s intrinsic quality.”
“A great terroir demands only moderate extraction, and this should be in keeping with vintage parameters in order not to produce a wine that is overly powerful. Too much extraction cannot enhance the quality of a wine. On the contrary, the quality of the fruit must be the most important factor in guiding the winemaker... ”
A perfectly equipped vat room
“The vats at Domaine de Chevalier are small (100-50 hectolitres). This makes it possible to ferment batches from each plot separately and thus to fine tune the final blend.
These stainless steel vats are wider than they are tall (2.85 m in diameter, 2.50 m tall). This facilitates the extraction of colour and tannin, and increases contact area between the juice and the cap.”
“Fermentation is preceded by maceration lasting 4-6 days which highlights the wine’s fruit. A close watch is kept on fermentation temperatures, which can rise to 30-32° C towards the end. The wine is regularly pumped over and sometimes accompanied by pigeage (punching down the cap), an ancient technique that has always been used at Chevalier. This breaking up of the cap and pushing it down into the wine with a long, wooden stick results in gentle extraction”